Kern, Bakersfield win federal grants supporting energy technology | News

A pair of federal grants declared Tuesday will deliver specialized know-how to enable Kern County’s energy sector and other elements of the community confront some of the most significant issues of the 21st century although also making area employment.

Kern and Bakersfield were among only 22 communities nationwide to get pledges of specialized guidance support, regarded as Communities Area Power Motion Method grants, from the U.S. Office of Power.

The county function will target on carbon seize and sequestration — a nascent technological innovation created to assist tackle climate change — although the city-led exertion offers with price tag-economical use of strength and microgrids that allow facilities to operate even when electric power from utilities has to be shut off.

Equally grants are predicted to entail broad coalitions such as govt, nonprofits and the non-public sector, and as these were welcomed Tuesday by leaders of numerous area organizations.

The bulletins were observed as big measures for area workforce enhancement as very well as a gain for the county’s B3K Prosperity economic collaboration that has worked to approach for new task creation as oil and ag wrestle with altering times.

Chancellor Sonya Christian of the Kern Neighborhood Higher education District, which will perform a position in both grants, stated area campuses will get the job done with sector to deepen their vitality curricula even though recruiting underrepresented workers.

She talked about two precise proposals that could occur of the grants: just one would seize and retail outlet carbon dioxide from a boiler the other would establish a microgrid for training science and engineering college students.

No funds will movement domestically from both grant. Instead, federal companies these as the Nationwide Renewable Energy Laboratory will lend their expertise in consultations with local events.

One explanation for Kern’s achievements was the county’s continuing dependence on typical electricity for community work opportunities and tax revenue. Yet another variable, in the circumstance of the carbon administration grant, is the local presence of depleted oil reservoirs discovered as excellent for storing carbon dioxide and possibly handy for reaching California’s aim of carbon neutrality statewide by 2045.

County officials claimed that project will lead to establishment of an industrial park someplace in western Kern making 10,000 development work opportunities and 4,000 long term work.

Lead planner Lorelei Oviatt reported the coalition powering the effort and hard work will search for a house operator keen to host the job, which she believed will eventually appeal to as considerably as $100 billion in expense.

The facility would receive carbon by pipeline or rail and, utilizing power from a proposed solar array measuring as big as 30,000 acres, produce hydrogen strength and so-referred to as green concrete. Carbon would also be injected deep underground as a way of little by little ridding the atmosphere of greenhouse gases.

“We will be the only spot in California that we would do this variety of undertaking,” Oviatt instructed reporters at a early morning information conference.

Comparable jobs have been proposed domestically by oil producers noticed as owning the technical knowledge, infrastructure and investment capability needed for huge-scale industrial perform.

Income for the county-led undertaking has not been discovered, and people today associated say it could arrive from a assortment of resources, which includes govt grants and personal expenditure.

“This to start with step will present the overview we need for location the table for personal sector investment in new and impressive carbon administration systems,” county Board of Supervisors Chairman Zack Scrivner explained at the convention.

The town-led grant is aimed at lowering fees for very poor homes as effectively as decarbonizing community agriculture. Bakersfield officers will function with the Kern Clean up Towns Coalition, a group that includes Neighborhood Action Partnership of Kern, the Dolores Huerta Basis and the Kern County Farm Bureau, as perfectly as labor unions, chambers of commerce and the towns of Arvin, Shafter and Wasco.

In addition to operate on microgrids, the grant is expected to minimize strength costs by way of increased use of zero-emission transportation, reduced-price battery electricity storage and neighborhood solar arrays that provide power for electric motor vehicles.

“Transitioning to an environmentally sustainable foreseeable future is a need to, but it must be performed in a way that ensures that very low-income and rural citizens are not adversely impacted,” Govt Director Camila Chavez of the Dolores Huerta Basis stated in a news launch. “This partnership, which brings together market, authorities, instruction and people, will make certain that the most deprived neighborhood users have a voice in the potential of our neighborhood.”

Marcy Willis

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Note from the Uneven Earth editorial team: This entry is the nineteenth to be published within Uneven Earth’s new Resources for a better future series: ​a glossary of crucial concepts in political ecology, alternative economics, and environmental justice.​ We are calling on experts and activists to help us put out easy-to-read, […]
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